Despite increasing vaccinations, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Virginia is at its highest level in three weeks heading into spring break for many school systems, and test positivity rates are rising in several Northern Virginia localities.
The Virginia Department of Health reported 1,912 new cases of coronavirus statewide on Saturday, increasing the state's seven-day average to 1,461.3 per day. That's an increase of about 13% over the past two weeks and the highest average since March 5.
In Northern Virginia, 499 new cases were reported Saturday. The region's seven-day average stands at 399.1, but it had been as low as 318.4 two weeks ago.
"Although cases have dropped dramatically in the past several weeks, they are flattening a level higher than we might have hoped given Virginia’s high vaccination rates," the University of Virginia's Biocomplexity Institute wrote in its weekly modeling update, released Friday.
The institute noted that based on data through earlier this week, the statewide reproductive rate is higher than 1.0 for the first time since January, meaning every person who has the virus is transmitting it, on average, to more than one additional person. That rate needs to be less than 1.0 for the number of cases to come down over time.
In addition, the institute reported that six health districts, including Loudoun, are in a slow growth trajectory of new cases. And 81% of Virginia counties still have case rates higher than last summer, despite the fact that over one-quarter of Virginians have received at least one dose of a vaccine.
The number of patients being treated for COVID-19 in state hospitals remains under 1,000, though, at 993 as of Saturday. It had been as low as 973 earlier this week.
The health department reported 24 new deaths related to COVID-19 on Saturday, with eight of those in Northern Virginia. Over the past three days, the region has reported nine new deaths in total, including four in Loudoun County, three in Fairfax County and one apiece in Arlington County and the city of Fairfax.
With Saturday's report, Stafford County topped 10,000 total cases since the pandemic began.
Northern Virginia data by locality (March 27, 2021)
|OTHER AREA JURISDICTIONS|
Average diagnostic test rates have trended up over the past two weeks, especially in Loudoun and Prince William counties. They have fallen slightly in Alexandria and Arlington the past two days.
Seven-day average test positivity rate by health district (March 27, 2021)
|Alexandria||40.1% / April 23||3.2% / Oct. 18 & March 16||4.5%||Down|
|Arlington||42.8% / April 20||2.4% / June 26||3.8%||Down|
|Fairfax||38.6% / April 22||3.3% / Oct. 16||5.7%||Up|
|Loudoun||27.9% / April 28||4.0% / Sept. 30 & Oct. 3||6.8%||Up|
|Prince William||36.7% / April 18||5.4% / Oct. 20||7.8%||Up|
|Rappahannock||19.2% / Jan. 7||3.5% / July 3||6.7%||Up|
|Statewide||20.6% / April 22||4.5% / Sept. 30, Oct. 1,2,12 & 13||5.7%||Up|
Meanwhile, the Virginia Department of Health's vaccine dashboard showed Saturday that almost 2.27 million Virginians have received at least one dose of a vaccine, representing 26.5% of the state's population of about 8.5 million. Because vaccines are not yet approved for children under age 16, the percentage of adults who have received at least one dose is significantly higher.
In addition, the health department reports that another 186,000 doses of vaccines have been administered in Virginia by the federal government. These numbers were previously not included in Virginia reports and include doses administered by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Defense.
About 14.3% of the state's residents have been fully vaccinated, either with two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The state is currently averaging about 54,000 doses of vaccines per day.
LATEST COVID-19 DATA
Northern Virginia: 499 new cases, 8 new deaths.
Statewide: 1,912 new cases, 24 new deaths.
Statewide Testing: 24,555 PCR diagnostic test results.
Northern Virginia: 168,700 cases, 2,229 deaths
Statewide: 613,974 cases, 10,178 deaths
Statewide Testing: 6.42 million PCR diagnostic tests (8.31 million when including antibody and antigen tests)
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) cases: 48 (including nine in Fairfax, seven in Prince William, two in Loudoun and one in Alexandria).
*Provided by Virginia Department of Health. The health department's COVID-19 data is updated each morning by 10 a.m. and includes reports by local health agencies before 5 p.m. the previous day.
Statewide Hospital and Nursing Home Data
Hospitalizations: 993 (down from from 998 the previous day)
Peak Hospitalizations: 3,209 reached Jan. 13
Patients in ICU: 232 (down from 238 the previous day)
Patients Discharged: 51,012 as of Friday
- Nursing Home Patients: 154 as of Friday (up from 153 the previous day)
*Provided by Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association
For updated national and international COVID-19 data, visit the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard.